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Floyd Landis Sentenced For Hacking Test Lab 173

Posted by timothy
from the thrill-of-victory dept.
McGruber writes with some news that slipped by in December: "Floyd Landis won the 2006 Tour de France, but was later stripped of his title after testing 'positive for an unusually high ratio of the hormone testosterone to the hormone epitestosterone (T/E ratio).' In February 2010, Slashdot covered the news that Landis had been accused of hacking into the laboratory that detected the unusually high T/E ratio. Since then, Landis was 'convicted in absentia by a French court for his role in hacking into the computers of a French doping lab,' according to National Public Radio. Landis and his former coach Arnie Baker both received 12-month suspended sentences, according to USA Today."
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Floyd Landis Sentenced For Hacking Test Lab

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  • by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich.aol@com> on Sunday January 01, 2012 @07:56PM (#38559436) Journal

    "Judges said that although no evidence directly linked Messrs. Landis and Baker to the hacking of the antidoping lab, both men benefited from the illegal intrusion."

    So, basically, anyone who benefits from a crime is somehow culpable whether or not they actually had anything to do with it.

    Gotta love that French "justice" system...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by d4fseeker (1896770)
      The reasoning is more like that he wouldn't have doped with such a trivial method if he had known he would be found in the test.
      And you can't honestly believe he hoped for "some luck" to make his test results look normal...
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 01, 2012 @08:29PM (#38559624)

        > We shall assume his guilt on the bases that he would have benefitted from committing the crime and we are already prejudiced against him over other stuff.

        The French have a history of judging people like that. People living under common law systems don't realise how good they've got it until they try engaging with the authorities elsewhere.

        • by Nimey (114278)

          ...and here in the States we have radicals who want to do away with the common-law system. They're the idiots who howl about "activist judges"; no doubt most of them don't understand what the end result of their desires would be.

          • by theNAM666 (179776)

            Hmm. You are aware that the US is not primarily a common (as opposed to civil law) system, right, the majority of states being mixed jurisdictions? Didn't think so.

            • by Nimey (114278)

              Oh really? I'm aware of Louisiana having its own system derived from France's law code a couple centuries back, that New York law has a few remnants of Dutch civil law, and California having codified its laws (civil law style) but keeping the common law system.

              I'd say it's you who are blowing smoke out your ass.

        • About justice (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Sudline (1552111) on Monday January 02, 2012 @04:01AM (#38561754)
          I have heard of some persons condemned to pay millions $ for downloading some songs in USA, that is definitively a better justice.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 01, 2012 @08:09PM (#38559516)

      There are many things about France which are shocking to anyone who has not spent much time in France. To take three examples:

      In the field of education, medicine involving taking in over ten times the number of people you expect to graduate then expelling all but the top tenth in first year exams.

      In the field of business, I was surprised at the number of government-owned or government-propped French businesses which have taken over following privatisation in other EU countries.

      In the field of justice, the lack of jury availability except in the most severe cases means some absurd rulings from a weak judiciary.

      They have a very classist approach to society and they're even more hypocritical than England with their good-sportsmanship-equality-under-the-law bullshit.

      • You left one out: (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Shakrai (717556) * on Sunday January 01, 2012 @08:23PM (#38559582) Journal

        No freedom to practice your religion without interference from the state. Muslim women can't wear the burqa in public. Jewish schoolboys can't wear the yarmulke in public schools while Christians are prohibited from wearing "large" crosses. In the name of secularism French society has crossed the line into intolerance and forced compliance with the tyranny of the majority.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          No freedom to practice your religion without interference from the state. Muslim women can't wear the burqa in public. Jewish schoolboys can't wear the yarmulke in public schools while Christians are prohibited from wearing "large" crosses. In the name of secularism French society has crossed the line into intolerance and forced compliance with the tyranny of the majority.

          You're an idiot. Study the word laic before writing nonsense.
          French institutions are laic, and that includes the public school system.
          On the other hand you can bloody worship whoever or whatever you want in your private sphere.

          In the US on the other hand, you mix religion and politics like ice and whiskey.
          So you're the last people that should speak about the benefits of a laic state.

          • I believe, in fact, he was speaking against the practice of Laicism (though he didn't call it that by name), not speaking "about the benefits of a laic state." Very few people in the U.S., including atheists, would preach against being able to publicly display symbols of your religion. Laicism at its core is intolerance for religion; as long as its not state sponsored, and its not inconveniencing anyone, me displaying symbols of my religion (or lack thereof -- are atheist bumper stickers illegal in France?)
            • Re:You left one out: (Score:4, Informative)

              by Sique (173459) on Monday January 02, 2012 @05:43AM (#38562052) Homepage

              Laicism at its core is intolerance for religion; as long as its not state sponsored, and its not inconveniencing anyone, me displaying symbols of my religion (or lack thereof -- are atheist bumper stickers illegal in France?) shouldn't be any of the state's business.

              That's exactly wrong. Laicism is about the state not sponsoring any religion. So the "as long as it is not state sponsored" itself is contradicting Laicism, because the state is explicitely forbidden to sponsor religion.

              And that means that showing religious symbols in state operated buildings is considered advertisement of religion and this is frowned upon there (not in the public itself, just on governmental premises).

              The case is differently with the burqa, because hiding your face in public is considering wearing a mask, and this runs afoul the ban on concealment. The same is valid for ski masks, or motorcycle helmets or whatever. The burqa is not any different from a legal viewpoint.

              • And how exactly is a private citizen displaying a symbol of his or her religion considered "state sponsored?" It's not like they have state officials coming up to them and saying "I'm happy to see a crucifix around your neck." Those who are offended by others displaying pride in their religion (or lack thereof) are not very strong in their own beliefs and need to do some soul-searching.
                • by Sique (173459)

                  The public building gives you room to advertise your religion - you are leeching an opportunity the state gives to all citizens to interact with the state to propagate your beliefs. If you would start to put up advertisements for your business in a governmental building, you also would be complimented out of the door. How is the religion you adhere to any different?

        • by MrLint (519792)

          I am strongly for the advance of secularism, however part of that core is that people are allowed to choose. Thus, this kind of 'secularism' is incompatible with that.

          • by jensend (71114)

            Whatever you may think the core of the cause you're espousing is, if you really want to allow people the freedom to choose, "secularism" is the wrong word. Secularism as an ideal was born out of the French Revolution's persecution of Catholics; ever since then secularism has involved a government hostility towards religion which at least tries to bar religious peoples' voices from the public sphere (extremely anti-democratic) and usually extends to various other kinds of persecution.

            I'll give a little backg

        • Muslim women can't wear the burqa in public. Jewish schoolboys can't wear the yarmulke in public schools while Christians are prohibited from wearing "large" crosses

          All of this is pretty new: was set recently by president Sarkozy.
          That should change from May 2012...

        • by HuguesT (84078)

          This is frequently misunderstood. The principle is similar than in the US, but differently implemented. The idea is that one is completely free to practice whatever religion one wants (there are exceptions for sects who recruit people forcefully), but that in the public space proselytism and displaying outward signs of a religious nature is proscribed. Note that the "public space" does not mean the park or the street, it is quite restricted: it means teaching and being taught in the public system, and inter

        • by xenobyte (446878)

          No freedom to practice your religion without interference from the state. Muslim women can't wear the burqa in public. Jewish schoolboys can't wear the yarmulke in public schools while Christians are prohibited from wearing "large" crosses. In the name of secularism French society has crossed the line into intolerance and forced compliance with the tyranny of the majority.

          You are very wrong here! - The state does not interfere with your right to practice your religion. You can believe what you want and go to church/temple/mosque as you please. You can dress how you like with a few limitations which shouldn't bother anyone. The so-called 'banned symbols' are not essential to the practice in any way - you can wear what you like at home or at your place of worship.

          The reason for imposing restrictions especially when it comes to burqa and nijab is to liberate those women who are

          • by Darinbob (1142669)

            The requirement that religion can only be practiced in the home or place of worship is a restriction. The purpose of religious symbols is not advertisement; if someone truly believes that they must wear a yarmulke then it is a severe discrimination to ban this person from attending schools or to require him to deny his religion in public. This is the state becoming big brother in that they claim to know better than anyone else and have decided what is or is not religion and how it should and should not be

      • by HuguesT (84078)

        To add to your remarks

        1- The medical education example is kind of an extreme case, and is due to the fact that medical education is in the hands of the "order" of medical doctors, who want their profession to remain a societal elite. They have a history of making some poor decisions such as favoring some specialists fields over others, leading to long-term dearths in some fields. At present for instance it is hard to get an appointment with an eye specialist in France, because there are not enough of them.

      • by aepervius (535155)
        "In the field of education, medicine involving taking in over ten times the number of people you expect to graduate then expelling all but the top tenth in first year exams."

        As opposed to what ? taking the right nubmer until the last spot is occupied, and refusing to take the rest ? If you do taht you will have a gaussian of "skills" over your year of people studying medicine. But if you take a whole lot more, but cream up the left side of the gaussian until 95% are thrown out you are left with people wit
      • by theNAM666 (179776)

        Oh come on.

        #1 is true of much of the US (private law schools, some of which give scholarships for the first year but take them away if you're not in the top 10%).

        #2 is true of much of the US (heard of Ford Motors?).

        #3... ha. Ever been in a courtroom outside a metro area, in the US.

        Oops. Just noticed you're an AC. Figures.

    • by Brett Buck (811747) on Sunday January 01, 2012 @08:21PM (#38559570)

      Can't let lack of evidence interfere with how the French feel about themselves. They're still pissed off from Lance Armstrong.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        Unfortunately because of the debacle that surrounded the last tests of Lance's samples it's hard to say what the truth is. Without testing both samples you can't rule out contamination, which is why they have an A and a B sample to begin with.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Peter H.S. (38077)

        Can't let lack of evidence interfere with how the French feel about themselves. They're still pissed off from Lance Armstrong.

        The French media just loved Lance Armstrong, as anybody who actually knows anything about the subject can attest. But of course when it turned out that he was just a cheating doper, some journalists began to write critical articles about him and the entire doping circus he represented.

        Lance Armstrong is a cheating doper, no doubt about that; he has simply failed too many doping tests that anybody can deny that. But for technical reasons he can't get a doping sentence because retro-testing can't be used as e

        • by hedwards (940851) on Sunday January 01, 2012 @09:06PM (#38559864)

          There was one positive test and there wasn't the normal second sample to validate against. The French paper managed to dig up results that weren't supposed to be released of a B sample that tested positive. The reason he wasn't charged was that there was supposed to be a second sample that could be used to verify that the sample hadn't been contaminated.

          It has nothing to do with a ban on retro testing and everything to do with the poor quality of evidence.

          Personally, I think he probably did it, but in civilized society you can't randomly lower the bar because you didn't get the result you wanted.

    • by Peter H.S. (38077) on Sunday January 01, 2012 @08:38PM (#38559684) Homepage

      "Judges said that although no evidence directly linked Messrs. Landis and Baker to the hacking of the antidoping lab, both men benefited from the illegal intrusion."
      So, basically, anyone who benefits from a crime is somehow culpable whether or not they actually had anything to do with it.
      Gotta love that French "justice" system...

      So some clueless blogger totally misrepresent the case and the submitter gives it a flat out wrong headline.

      Landis, a known lying doper and cheater, hasn't been convicted for hacking, but for being in possession of stolen documents. Landis, when he was still lying about his doping, was showing these documents to everyone interested, claiming that they showed his innocence, so there is no arguments about him being in possession of these documents.

      So Landis escaped a hacking charge and mere got a sentence for being in possession of stolen documents. I am sure that any US citizen publicly showing medical lab records stolen in an hacking accident, would get into trouble with US laws, and rightly so.

      --
      Regards

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 01, 2012 @08:55PM (#38559786)

        At least someone intelligent on slashdot. I have lived for many years in France *and* in the US and I have grown extremely tired of the constant misrepresentation of what happens in France by US media (and vice versa, unfortunately). The unavoidable subsequent avalanche of xenophobic comments by people who obviously do not have a clue is no less appalling. It generally takes me no more than 5 minutes to debunk 95% of lies spreads about France/US in the media, too much work apparently. Sigh.

      • by wanax (46819) on Sunday January 01, 2012 @09:36PM (#38560038)

        Landis is being punished for daring to defy the anti-doping authorities, insist on his rights to a public hearing (no longer allowed), and embarrassing the hell out of the USADA and WADA by absolutely demolishing their scientific credibility with regard to the testosterone case (after they had to dig in their heels because they had already illegally released the preliminary reports, pre-B sample test to the media). I would note that in the original (and appealed) decisions, the panels through out the initial T-E ratio test as being hopelessly compromised. The mass spectrometry tests were allowed to stand, despite being the quality of lab work that would get laughed out of a college chemistry class, because both panels chose to totally disregard the testimony of John Amory. (see: http://rant-your-head-off.com/WordPress/?p=383 [rant-your-head-off.com] or http://trustbut.blogspot.com/2008/12/winnowing-john-amory.html [blogspot.com])

        Now, as it turned out, Landis later admitted to doping with HGH that season, and testosterone in previous seasons. But I really think that's incidental to this case. He's being punished because he showed the WADA and UCI are just as corrupt as the cyclists, and the Chatenay-Malabry lab technicians are too incompetent to run a mass spectrometer that undergraduates successfully use thousands of times a day in research labs.

    • by Aighearach (97333) on Sunday January 01, 2012 @09:00PM (#38559822) Homepage

      That's what happens when you refuse to show up for your trial. It is presumed that whatever evidence the prosecution introduces is as they say it is, as nobody says otherwise.

      In civil court that happens every day in the US.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No, what happens when you refuse to show up for a criminal trial is that it's adjourned. If you were absent without good reason then you can enjoy being charged for failing to turn up. If you don't make yourself known then you'll be arrested and forced to turn up.

        Nothing else is presumed about your absence because it goes against natural justice to convict you without the opportunity to defend yourself.

        Civil trials, where the purpose is to provide specific compensation for loss rather than to protect societ

    • by Baloroth (2370816) on Sunday January 01, 2012 @09:07PM (#38559870)
      Ever heard of circumstantial evidence? Doesn't directly link them, but can easily be enough to land a conviction in many cases. Hard to say much without more information, of course. Quick check at the WSJ link for that quote shows that Landis' trainer, a Mr. Baker, had stolen files up on his website from the lab, given to him by Landis' attorneys. Pretty damning evidence.
    • It was "in abstentia", which cant help your case.

  • This happened 2 months ago, really slashdot editors? It's sad when a dead tree newspaper has more current info
  • I like doping! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bartoku (922448) on Sunday January 01, 2012 @09:09PM (#38559890)
    Why does doping get such a bad rap?
    The anti-doping groups are terrified of new doping methods they cannot detect.
    This is great, if the doping has no adverse side effects and is not detectable then I want some!
    I want these athletes testing out drugs and the long term affects and me benefiting from watching their performances and some day using safe versions of the drugs

    Anti-doping is a waste of money. They should be putting money into making doping safe.

    Fairness is pointless, some people are born taller, stronger, faster. Some have more money for better training, coaching, and equipment.
    No reason we cannot level the playing field or push it beyond its current limits with chemistry.

    Plus if your sport requires such little skill that doping can help you win it, then it is not much of a sport anyway
    • by kamapuaa (555446)

      Plus if your sport requires such little skill that doping can help you win it, then it is not much of a sport anyway
      Please. I'd love for you to name a single sport that wouldn't be assisted by the use of steroids. Strength is a fundamental basis of every sport and if it isn't, it's an activity, rather than a sport. In which case, there's also drugs for that - beta blockers, caffeine, etc.

      Also, there's a huge difference between "undetectable" and "no adverse side effects."

      • by bartoku (922448)
        I agree strength is important in about every sport i can think of, and sure steroids would assist an athlete in obtaining greater strength; but in most highly skilled sports it would never make or break a winner.

        I do not care how strong or fast you are, if you cannot dribble and shoot a basketball doping is going to do nothing to make you an NBA star.
        A little doping may make an NBA star faster or jump higher, but then we would expect the younger stronger players to always dominate.
        Instead we watched Jo
        • Re:I like doping! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by kamapuaa (555446) on Monday January 02, 2012 @01:58AM (#38561316) Homepage

          Instead we watched Jordan, well into his thirties past his physical prime, lead the Bulls to multiple championships.

          Well he's retired now, right? And if he attempted a comeback this year, it would be a weird joke, he couldn't even play bench. He hasn't lost the skill and the NBA hasn't overtaken the skill level Michael Jordan once had. So obviously skill is a contributing factor, but athleticism is also a good part of it.

          There's millions of kids who aspire to the NBA, and tens of thousands of very skilled basketball players. 300 make it to the NBA. With such a large talent pool, there's plenty of player who are 98% as good, but just not quite there. I sincerely believe that these players who didn't make the NBA, if given unfettered access to steroids, would be better than Kobe Bryant. Even if they didn't, Kobe would no longer be such a dominating player, unless he also started juicing. Steroids are just that effective, and strength that important.

          Think about Barry Bonds, who at the age of 37 had a sudden power surge and shattered batting records. A hundred years of baseball history tells you, baseball players don't dramatically increase their power in their late 30s. They do what A-Rod is doing in his mid 30s, getting dramatically less powerful and with less ability to recover sufficiently. Or look at Jose Canseco, who was always the worse player to his twin brother Ozzie. Jose got more into juicing and won unanimous AL MVP and had a near Hall of Fame career, Ozzie Canseco was never a regular starter.

          Really all legalizing steroids would do is mean, every single professional athlete would have to use steroids. This would surely filter down to college athletes and just amateurs who want to get good. I think steroids deserve more study than they receive, maybe in the future all old people will take HGH, but I don't think we're at a point that the general population should be using them.

    • by mvar (1386987)
      THIS. Anti-doping is a joke. Every single athlete that competes in word-class level is on drugs one way or another. Or if he isn't NOW, he will be in a few years when another scandal erupts and he gets stripped of his medals (Marion Jones is the brightest example). This anti-doping hypocrisy must stop, if the athletes want to risk their health for world records and money, well let them have it, its their choice.
      • by HuguesT (84078)

        The illusion of choice. Right, look up the story of the various athletes in the history of sport who were forced to use performance enhancing drugs through their federation. Most obvious are the former Eastern Germany female swimmers. I doubt they are very happy now. Maybe in a couple hundred years when the world is everywhere a democracy. Even then, people would have to start using drugs very early on, when they are minors. What *choice* would they have ?

        The simplest and sanest choice is to ban all perform

  • Let this be a lesson to anyone considering doing this. If we convict you then absolutely nothing will happen to you.
  • by 0WaitState (231806) on Sunday January 01, 2012 @10:25PM (#38560244)
    Recently Ryan Braun (rookie of the year, Major League Baseball) has been disputing a positive drug test that appears to be the same one Floyd Landis disputes, namely an abnormally high epitestosterone/testosterone ratio. In Braun's case, it appears that MLB's testing protocol involves doing a cheap but prone to false-positives first test, then a more costly and accurate second test if the first is positive. In Braun's case, what has gone horribly wrong is that the results of his first test (positive) were leaked BEFORE the second test was run. Now everyone has lawyered up and the assclowns who run MLB have some explaining to do. This is discussed at length with all available public info here:

    Braun Banned for PEDs [baseballprospectus.com]

    What does this have to do with Floyd Landis? Just that epi/natural testosterone comparisons aren't cut and dried, and that the French do like to find winning non-French bikers to be dopers, and under the French Napoleonic code of justice you are guilty until proven innocent.
    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      Just goes to show you that the New Orleans variant of Frenchness is vastly superior...

    • by rve (4436)

      What does this have to do with Floyd Landis? Just that epi/natural testosterone comparisons aren't cut and dried, and that the French do like to find winning non-French bikers to be dopers,

      You do know that he has admitted doping, right? He has since described how it happened: The suspicious blood levels and performance spike were the result of a transfusion with blood carelessly taken too shortly after taking testosterone during training. Blood transfusions can be detected by the presence of blood preservatives and plastic weakeners from the blood bag, but tests for these are not considered conclusive evidence on their own, if i understand correctly from the Alberto Contador case last summer.

    • "under the French Napoleonic code of justice you are guilty until proven innocent." there is a "presomption of innocence" in the french system, and has been so for a loooong time, maybe 2 century. See article 9-1 of the French penal code. See wiki "Le principe est affirmé par l'article 9 de la Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen du 26 aoÃt 1789 (auquel fait référence le préambule de la constitution actuelle) :" note the year please. Hec
    • by HuguesT (84078)

      Hello,

      Unde the French Napoleonic code of justice you are guilty until proven innocent.

      Did you learn that in school or did you vaguely hear about it on the internet somewhere? This is completely false. Presumption of innocence is *more* enshrined in law in France than in the USA:

      In France, article 9 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen 1789, which has force as constitutional law, begins: "Any man being presumed innocent until he has been declared guilty ...". The Code of Criminal Proced

  • Sounds like he was testing a hacked lab to me...

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

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